Friday, November 22, 2019
Plaintiffs in Putative Class Actions Insist They Were Cheated Because Fact of Recent Injury to One of the Boxers Wasn’t Made Known
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Putative class actions alleging that the supposed “Fight of the Century” between world-champion boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao in Las Vegas on May 2, 2015 was a fraud were properly dismissed, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held yesterday.
The contest was a sham, plaintiffs asserted, because an injury incurred a month earlier by the loser, Pacquiao, had been hushed up.
Circuit Judge Jacqueline H. Nguyen said in yesterday’s opinion that while the bout “turned out to be a ‘yawner,’ ” persons who paid to see it over the Showtime cable network—numbering well over 4 million—or at the arena are not entitled to refunds.
The pay-per-view fee to individuals ranged from $89-$100, while commercial establishments, such as restaurants and bars, paid as much as $10,000 to show the fight to patrons. Box office prices for tickets to the arena were priced from $1,500 to more than $7,500, while scalpers got as much as $231,000.
“During the post-fight press conference, Pacquiao revealed that he had injured his right shoulder in training camp nearly a month before. Plaintiffs in numerous jurisdictions seized on the injury disclosure and filed putative class-action complaints alleging that Pacquiao was ‘damaged goods,’ that the fight was a ‘“magnificent con,’ and that they would not have purchased tickets had they known of Pacquiao s injury. The district court dismissed the complaints in this multidistrict litigation on the ground that Plaintiffs have not suffered a cognizable legal injury because in short, they got what they paid for.”
What they paid for, she elaborated, was “to see a boxing match between two of the top fighters in the world, Mayweather and Pacquiao,” and they did.
She noted that both fighters, before going in the ring, were cleared to fight by the Nevada State Athletic Commission doctors, adding:
“Ultimately, a three-judge panel declared Mayweather the overall winner of the match, but each of the judges declared Pacquiao the winner of between two and four rounds. And although the match may have lacked the drama worthy of the pre-fight hype, Pacquiao’s shoulder condition did not prevent him from going the full twelve rounds, the maximum number permitted for professional boxing contests.”
The judge quipped:
“The district court was therefore correct to knock out Plaintiffs’ complaints.”
The case is In Re Pacquiao-Mayweather Boxing Litigation, 17-56366.
Copyright 2019, Metropolitan News Company